12 Nov 2009

Samoa couple stand trial for witchcraft

10:30 am on 12 November 2009

A couple are standing trial in the Samoa Supreme Court on charges of witchcraft, actual bodily harm, and manslaughter after the death of a 44-year old woman in January this year.

The husband and wife were jointly charged after the family of the woman filed a complaint to the police.

The couple, both traditional Taulasea healers, performed a witchcraft treatment on the woman in which they instructed her to sit in a plastic container partly filled with boiling hot water.

In the first day of the trial, the mother-in law of the deceased said she was told by the couple the treatment would chase away demons from the dead woman's family.

The woman was rushed to the hospital the day after the treatment where she was pronounced dead just minutes on arrival.

The assessor trial is expected to be finished on Friday